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REACTION: Eight Irish players and no Sexton in Lions squad

British an Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland announced his 37-man squad to travel to South Af...



British an Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland announced his 37-man squad to travel to South Africa on Thursday; a job that will always see some people upset that their favourite players were not selected.

After much preamble, the captain of the tour was finally announced; none other than Wales' Alun Wyn Jones.

While there were many fans in favour of the Welshman taking the lead against South Africa, there were some that see his captaincy as a poor decision, with Maro itjoe largely being touted as the captain by English media in the lead-up.

However it was the manner in which Wyn Jones was announced that caught the attention of many fans, as he was beamed in like an outtake from a 1980s episode of Star Trek.

The Lions announcement continued to drag on, with many spectators beginning to speculate who would be in the squad that was extended to 37 men from 36 late on Wednesday.

One name that popped up was an Irish legend that some fans were hoping to make a startling return from retirement.

After much preamble, the Lions squad was officially named, with not a small amount of controversy, most notably the omission of Ireland captain Johnny Sexton.

The omission of Sexton took many fans by surprise, with the 35-year-old being one of the standout players, even through injuries, in the two previous Lions tours.

After the initial shock of Johnny Sexton being left off the plane, a lot of Irish fans were quick to notice a left-field pick in the centres, with Bundee Aki being selected ahead of the likes of a Garry Ringrose.

However, with Robbie Henshaw, Conor Murray, Tadhg Beirne, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Furlong and Andrew Porter all making the cut, there were some big Irish names that some fans believe have been snubbed by Gatland in his Lions squad.

The Lions will travel to South Africa to take on the current world champions in June, and will be hoping to get their first series win in South Africa since 1997.

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2021 Lions Bundee Aki CJ Stander Gatland Lions Sexton South Africa Tadgh Furlong Tadhg Beirne